Skip to main content
6:00 am
koreans live in -- 12 man koreans lived 12 miles from the demilitarized zone. all of this will not solve the problems. life ain't you for that statement. in southport -- >> thank you for that statement. i went to commend the chairman for an excellent hearing and wonderful witnesses and raise objections for the legislation. with that, the committee is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
6:01 am
>> this and judiciary committee will debate a gun safety measure to curb illegal gun trafficking. it is one of four gun measures the committee will work on. we will have live coverage this morning at 10:00 eastern here on c-span. on c-span three, a senate panel will take up president obama's choice to head the senate department. that is live at 10:00 eastern. >> now, senator rand paul on the senate floor speech in opposition to the nomination of john brennan to the cia
6:02 am
director. during this filibuster, senator paul was joined by other senators. >> any time the government wants to intrude on life, liberty, or property, it must do so in a way that comports with age old process -- processes of life liberty and property. we are talking here about the sanctity of human life. when the interest at stake is not just liberty or property, but life itself, we have to
6:03 am
protect it. we have to take steps to protect that. it is important that we carefully scrutinize and evaluate any government program and has the potential to deprive any american citizen of his or her life without due process of law. as -- as were you, senator paul, recently when the obama administration leaked what was characterized as a department of justice white paper outlining the circumstances, outlining the legal criteria that this administration would use in deciding when and whether and under what circumstances to snuff out human life, the human life of an american citizen, no less. using a drone. now, the memorandum started out with certain somewhat predictable or familiar concep concepts. the memorandum started out by explaining an imminent standard,
6:04 am
explaining that that certainly codn't happen absent an imminent threat to american national security. an imminent threato american life, for example. when we think of imminence, we think of something that is emergent. we think of an emergency, something going on at the moment which -- which unless interrupted, presents som kind of a dangerous threat. significantly, however, this is not how the department of justice white paper actually read. although it used the word "imminence," it defined imminence as something far different th we normally think of when we, as american citizens, use this kind of language, certainly in any legal or constitutional analytical context. so if -- if i could read from that morandum, senator paul, i would point out that this condition of imminence is described as follows. it says, "the condition that an
6:05 am
operatnal leader, an operational leader of -- of a group presenting a threat to the united states, the condition that an operational leader presents an imminent threat of violent attack against the united states does not require the united states to have clear evidence that a specific attack on u.s. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future." now, senator paul, wouldn't it be your understanding that if something is imminent, that it would need to be something occurring immediately? mr. paul: well, yeah, and i think there's really no question about using lethal force against an imminent attack. and i think that's why we need to make the question that we're asking the president very clear, and the question is if planes are attacking the world trade center, we do believe in an imminent response.
6:06 am
we do believe in an imminent defense for that. the problem is that if we're talking about noncombatants who might someday be involved, if they are in america, i see no reason why they shouldn't be arrested. mr. lee: and so if we're dealing with something that is imminent, we are talking about something that's about to occ, it's urgent, and that typically is the standard. any time government officials in other contexts, law enforcement, for example, sometimes regrettably and tragically law enforcement officers have to make a spur of the moment judgment call in order to protect human life. sometimes in doing that, they ha to do something that they wouldn't ordinarily do. this always turns on some kind of an imminent standard. it always turns on some kind of an emergent threat, something that is about to occur that is occurring at the moment. and yet we're told in black and white right here in this white
6:07 am
paper that this condition, that of imminence, does not require the united states to have clear evidence that a specific attack on u.s. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future. that begs the question, what th is the standard? who then makes this determination? presumably it'the president of the united states. perhaps it's others. reporting up in the chain of command to the president of the united states. but if actual imminence isn't required as part of this ostensibly imminent standard, what then is the standard? is there any at all? and if there is a standard, why is it so broad that you could give a 747 right through it? and that's the case, how that compatible with time-horned notions of due process, those notions deeply embedded in our founding documents, those notions that we understand come from god and cannot be revoked by any government. i wish i could say that the
6:08 am
imminence standard problem in the department of justice white paper is the only problem. it's not. we look to the very next page, the page dealing with the feasibility of cap tour. one of the other standards outlined in the department of juice white paper, outlining the certificates in which the government of e united states may take a human life using a drone in a case involving a united states citizen, is that the capture has to be infeasible, and the united states has to be continuing to monitor whether capture becomes feasible at some point. as to this standard, on page 8 of the department of justice white paper, it says that as to the feasibility of capture, capture would not be feasible if it could not be physically effectuateed during the relevant window of opportunity or if the relevant country were to decline to consent to a capture
6:09 am
operation. other factors such as undue rk to u.s. personnel conducting a potential capture operation also could be relevant. feasibility would be a highly fact specific and potentially time-sense sieve inquiry. in other words they are saying that it has to be -- it has to be sething that could not be physically effectuated during a relevant window. but what's the relevant window? the white paper makes absolutely no effort whatsoever to define what the relevant window is. who then makes this determination? and according to what factorss that determination made? here yet again we have a standardless standard. we have a standard that is so broad, that is so malleable, that is so easily subject to so many varyingnterpretations, no one can reasonably look into this and decide who the government may kill with a drone and who the government may not kill with a drone. that's a problem and that it
6:10 am
seems to me, senator paul, is fundamentally incompatible with time-horned notions ofue process. would you not agr with that assessment? mr. paul: absolutely, and i think the crux comes down to this, you know, talking about havingn imminent standard, and this is part of the problem in the sense that he doesn't want to talk about it, and if we're going to do something so dramatic as to no longer have the fifth amendment apply in the united states, t have no accusation, to have no rest, no jury trials for folks that are to be killed in the united states, it's such a dramatic change that you would think we would want to have a full airing of a debate over this. mr. lee: would the senator from kentucky yield for a question? mr. paul: i yield -- i will not yield the floor but i will allow you to make comments. mr. lee: if you will yield for a question, i would just ask whether you are aware of an exchange that some members of the senate judiciary committee had with attorney general holder this morning on this subject? mr. paul: yes.
6:11 am
mr. lee: and were you aware of the fact that somef us asked attorney general holder for a more robust analysis, that provided in a series of memoranda authored by the office of legal counsel, the u.s. department of justice's chief advisory body, and the fact that so far the department of jtice has declined to make those availae to members of the judiciary committee. mr. paul: yes, i'm aware of that. in fact, i think we have the transcript of some of the conversation from this morning. mr. lee: if i can supplement that question just by describing what i encountered in connection with that, i expressed frustration to the attorney general over the fact that members the senate judiciary committee who have significant oversight responsibilities with regard to the operation of the u.s. department of justice have not had access to that memorandum, and this is part of our oversight responsibilities. this is something we ought to be able to see.
6:12 am
so far not something we have been able to see. i encourage the attorney general to make available to members o the senate judiciary committee those very documents which he claimed add some additional insight and give us some additional analysis above and beyond what this white paper is saying. ihought that might be relevant to you in addressing my question. mr. paul: absolutely. at this point -- at this point, if we have -- mr. president, i will have some comments entertained from senator cruz, a question. mr. cruz: would the senator from kentucky yield for a question? mr. paul: i don't yield the floor but i will acknowledge a question to the chair. mr. cruz: thank you, senator. i'd like to ask your reactions to the testimo that attorney
6:13 am
general eric holder gave this morning in the senate judiciary committee. i'd like to describe that testimony for you and then ask your reaction to that testimony. and i will begin by saying that senator after sator on the judiciary committee invoked your leadership on the issue of drones and asked attorney general holder about the standards for drone strikes in the united states, and indeed although you do not serve on the judiciary committee, it was as if you were serving in absentia because the attorney general was forced over and over again to respond, and i would note that your standing here today like a modern mr. smith goes to washington because surely be making jimmy stewart smile. and my only regret is that there are not 99 of your colleagues here today standing with you in defense of the most fundamental
6:14 am
principles in our declaration of independence and our constitution, namely that each of us is endowed with certain unalienable rights by our crtor and that first among them is life, the rife to life and the right not to have life arbitrarily extinguished by our government without due process of law. now, at the hearing this morning, attorney general holder was asked about the letter he sent you in which you asked him whether the united states government could use a drone strike to kill a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil, and as you know, attorney general holder responded in writing that he could imagine a circumstance where that would be permissible and the two examples he gave were number one pearl harbor and number two the tragic countries on this country on september 11, 2001. and in the course of the hearing, attorney general holder was asked for more specifics on that and in particular both of
6:15 am
those were military strikes on our country with imminent and indeed grievous loss of life that flowed from it, and few, if any, disagree that the united states government may act and act swiftly to prevent a military attack that wld te immediate loss of life. the question that attorney general holder was asked three different times was whether the united states government could take a u.s. citizen who was suspected of being a terrorist on u.s. soil who was not engaged in any imminent threat to life and bodily harm, who was simply sitting at a cafe, could the united states government use a drone strike to kill that u.s. citizen on u.s. soil. three times when asked that direct question, attorney general holder responded that in his judgment that was not -- quote -- "appropriate." now, the first question -- and
6:16 am
if i may, i'd like to ask a series of questions. the first question, does it surprise you that the attorney general would speak in vague, amorphous terms of appropriateness and prosecutorial discretion rather than the bright lines of what the constitution protects, namely the right of every american to have our life protected by the constitution. mr. paul: mr. president, i am quite surprised, although i guess i shouldn't be, that we don't get direct responses. you know, it's a pretty direct question. it's the question i have been asking all morning. it's the question i have been asking for a month and a half because i am really talking about situations where you have a noncombatant, someone not posing an imminent threat who they think may someday pose an imminent threat because that's what we are doing overseas. if that's the standard overseas, i am asking is that going to be the standard here, so it amazes me, and part of the reason we are here today in the midst of a filibuster is because they won't
6:17 am
answer the question directly. so i -- i applaud the attempts to try to get a more specific question. i guess i'm not terribly surprised that we have had ouble getting a direct answer. mr. cruz: will the senator yield for additional questions? mr. paul: as long as i don't yield the floor. mr. cruz: aft three times declining to answer a direct question o'would killing a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil with a drone strike, when that u.s. citizen did n present an imminent threat, would that be constitutional, after three times simply saying it would not be appropriate, finally the fourth time, attorney general lder responded to vigorous questioning. in parcular, the course of the questioning, the point was made that attorney general holder is not an advice columnist giving advice on etiquette and
6:18 am
appropriateness. the attorney general is the chief legal officer of the united states. and i will note that i observed it was more tha a little astonishing that the chief legal officer of the united states could not give a simple one-word, one-syllable, two-letter answer to the question does the constitution allow the federal government to kill with a drone strike a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil who is not posing an immediate threat. the proper answer, i suggested at that hearing, should be no, and that should be a very easy answer for the attorney general to give. finally, the fourth time around, attorney general holder stated -- quote -- "let me be clear. translate my approiate to no. i thought i was saying no. all right? no." so finally after three times refusing to answer the question whether it would be constitutional to do so, the fourth time, the attorney
6:19 am
general asked that. so the question that i want to ask is your reaction tohis exchange and in particular when attorney general holder on the fourth time finally stated his opinion and i assume the opinion of the department of justice that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to kill a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil that does not pose imminent threat, when he stated that, my response was that i wish he had simply said so in his letter to you to begin with. i wish john brennan in his questioning that you provided had said so to begin with, and indeed i then said that the senator from kentucky and i are intending to introduce legislation in this body to make clear that the united states government may not kill a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil if that individual does not pose an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. and i observed that if the
6:20 am
attorney general's view was that it was unconstitutiol forhe u.s. government to do so, that i assumed he would b supporting that legislation. i welcome the rction to that change. mr. paul: well, mr. president, the -- the response is a little bit troubling that it took so much work and so much effort of cross-examinion to finally get an answer. i will note that in his final answer, i don't ever see the words constitutional or unconstitutional. he is responding to senator cruz's words of constitutional. he says let me be clear, translate my appropriate to no. i thought i was saying no. all right. no. well, words do make a difference, and i would feel a little more comfortable if we would get in writing a letter that says he doesn't believe killing people, not actively engaged in combat with drones in americ on american soil is constitutional. it sure would have short circuited and saved quite a bit
6:21 am
of tim i will say, though, that i will believe a little more of the sincerity of the president and of the attorney general if we were to get a public endorsement of the bill that says drones can't be used except for under imminent threat, and define that as a -- an imminent threat where you actually have a lethal attack under way. and if we could get to that, i think this is something that really both parties ought to be united by. it's such a basic principle that i couldn't imagine we couldn't unite by this. i think you have done a long way to trying to get these answers. but i think what still disappoints me about the whole thing is that it takes so much work to get people to say they're going to obe the law. it takes so much work to get the administration to admit that they will adhere to the constitution. it should be a much simpler process, butommend the senator from texas for not
6:22 am
letting go andor trying to get this information. i wod welcome any more comments that he has. mr. cruz: if the senator would yield for one final queion? is the senator from kentucky aware of any precedent, any supreme court case, any lower court case, the decision of any president of the united states beginning with george washington up to the present, the stated views of any member of this united states senate beginning with the very first congress up to the senate, up to the present. is the senator from kentucky aware of any precedent whatsoever for the proposition that this administration seems unwilling to embrace or at least embrace expliciy and emphatically? namely, that the constitution
6:23 am
somehow permits or at least does not foreclose the united states government killing a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil who is not flying a plane into a building, who is not robbing a bank, who is not pointing a bazooka at the pentagon but who is simply sitting quietly at a cafe, peaceably enjoying breakfast, is the senator from kentucky aware of any precedent whatsoever for what i consider to be the really remarkable proposition that the united states government, without indicting him, without bringing him before a jury, without any due process whatsoever, can simply send a drone to kill that united states citizen on u.s. soil? mr. paul: mr. president, i'm aware of no legal precedent for taking the life of an american without the fifth amendment or due process. what is troubling, though, is that attorney general eric holder is on record as actually
6:24 am
arguing that the fifth amendment right to due process is to be determined and is to be applicable when determined solely by the executive branch. now, i would appreciate the exphents opinion of -- the comments and opini of the senator from texas on the -- the idea that the executive branch gets to determine when the bill of rights applies. mr. cruz:f i may continue my questioning and give my -- my views on that question and ask your response to my views on -- on whether the executive may determine its own limitations, i would suggest the genesis of our constitution is found in the notion that the president is not a king, that we are not ruled by a monarchy, and that no man or woman is above the law.
6:25 am
and accordingly, no man or woman may determine the applicability to himself or herself. for that reason, the framers of our constitution one -- not one but two he have -- won not one but two revolutions. the first revolution they won was a bloody battle for our independence from king george. and a great many of them gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we might enjoy the freedom we do today. but the far more important war they won was the war of ideas, where for millennia, men and women had been told that rights come from kings and queens and are given by grace to be taken away at the whim of the monarch. and what our framers concluded instead is that our rights don't come from any king or queen or
6:26 am
president, they come from god almighty and sovereignty does not originate from the monarch or the president, it originates from we, the people. and accordingly, the constitution served, as thomas jefferson put it, as chains to bind the mischie of government. and i would suggest that any time power is arrogated in one place, in the executive, that liberty is threatened. and that should be a view that receives support not just from republicans, not just from democrats or independents or libertarians, that should be a view that receives support from everybody, that none of us should want to live in a country where the president or the executive asserts the authority to take the life of a united states citizen on u.s. soil without due process of law and absent any imminent threat of
6:27 am
harm. i would suggest the idea that we should simply trust the attorney general, trust the director of the c.i.a., trust the president to exercise an astonishing power to take of life of any u.s. citizen, that trust, in my judgment, is fundamentally inconsistent with the bill of rights. and i would ask the sator from kentucky's reaction if you share my understanding that our rights are protected not at the whim or grace of the executive but they are protected by a constitution and ultimately they are rights that each us was given by our creator and we are obliged to protecthe natural rights to life, liberty and property that every man and woman in america enjoys. mr. paul: well, mr. president, this is what makes it this debate so important. this debate is about fundamental
6:28 am
rights tt we -- that most of us or many of us believe that we derive from our creator and it's important we not give up on these, that we not allow a majority vote or one branch of the government to say we've now decided you don't get all of these rights anymore. our founders really wanted to make it difficult to change things, to take away our rights. anso this is an important battle and one in which i think we should engage because the president needs to be more forthcoming. the president needs to let us know what his plans are. if he's going to overrule the fifth amendment and if the attorney general's going to decide when the fifth amendment applies, that's a ptty important distinction and change from the history of our country. mr. president, at this time, i'd like to ask for any comments, without yielding the floor, but ask for any comments or questions from the senator from utah. mr. lee: in response to your -- your question, i -- i would like
6:29 am
to add to your remarks and those of the junior from texas the fact that in the concluding paragraph of the department of justice white paper on this issue, the department concludes as follows. "in sum, an operation in the circumstances and under the constraints described above would not resul in a violation of any due process rights." it's a rather interesting conclusion in light of the fact that two out of the three analytical points outlined above in the memorandum in the white paper are themselves so broad as to be arguably meaningless or, at a minim, capable of being interpreted in such a way as to subject american citizens to the arbitrary deprivation of their own right to live. first, as i mentioned earlier,
6:30 am
by proposing an imminence standard that leaves out anything imminent -- in other words, it's not just peanut butter without the jelly; it's peanut butter without the peanut butter -- there is no "there" there. they define out of existence the very imminence standard that they purport to create and follow. that is not due process. it's the opposite of due proce process. secondly, they outline a set of circumstances in which this attack may occur where capture is infeasible and then they define an understanding of feasibility that is so broad as to render it virtually meaningless. so at the conclusion of the memo, when the memo says, "in sum, an operation of the circumstances and under the constraints described above would not result in a violation of any due process rights," it's describing constraints that are not really constraints. and that is a problem.
6:31 am
that amounts to a deprivation of due process. in light of these circumstances, i think it really is imperative that the american people and, at a minimum, those who serve in this body, or, at a minimum, those who serve on the senate judiciary committee, that -- that we be given an opportunity to review the wholesale legal analysis identified by the attorney general today that have been prepared by the department of justice's office of legal counsel. this is the chief advisory body within the u.s. department of justice. it is the job of the fine lawyers in the office of legal counsel to render this advice and we ought to have the benefit of that. at a minimum, we oughto have the benefit of that within the senate judiciary committee. so when i asked the attorney general this morning whether he'd make those available, i was surprised and a little bit frustrated when he declined to offer them immediately.
6:32 am
he said that he would check i with those tha he needed to consult with. i reminded him that he is, in fact, the attorney general. he does, in fact, supervise those who work in the department of justice. up next -- up next, a bipartisan group of senators introduced gun-control legislation. on "washington journal," your calls will be taken on the budget challenges. the senate judiciary committee tries to curb illegal gun trafficking. it is one of them a gun measures the committee will work on. we will have live christmas morning at 10:00 eastern on c- span.
6:33 am
-- live coverage this morning at 10:00 eastern on c-span. the president and ceo of rei will take questions from senators on the live resources committee. that is live at 10:00 eastern. >> she has been read since 1841 her grandson first published editions of her letters. she was a best seller through the 19th century. she has always been famous. >> our conversation with historians about abigail adams is now available on our website at xaob -- cspan/firstladies.
6:34 am
>> senators gramm and begish -- begich at this 25 minute news briefing. >> to my colleagues, taking very much. we are trying to fix a problem that most americans would be astonished exists. to people in the charleston area, have heard your voices. let me tell you the problem we are trying to fix. alice is a young lady who, in 19 -- 2005, threatened to kill the president. she came across the border into the united states. an investigation was done about the threats she may. i will not read the threats because some of them are pretty tough. it resulted from being indicted
6:35 am
for making threats against the president. and psychiatric evaluation was ordered. any psychotic drugs were administered to make sure she was competent to stand trial. she went to an evaluation facility. she was found legally insane. in federal court, she pled not guilty by reason of insanity and was ordered to undergo commitment proceedings for long- term care, which she received. is formative -- fast forward to 2013. she previously pledged not guilty by reason of insanity for but it killed the president of the united states. she was admitted to a mental health treatment since the pedestrian and facility. she went to south carolina in --
6:36 am
she was admitted to a mental health facility. she went to south carolina and legally purchase a firearm. according to aft authorities in south carolina, there was nothing illegal about her entries. she was sold a pistol. she went to gasohol, a private school in south carolina, -- ashley called in south carolina, a private school. she tried to kill soft -- staff members, but the gun did not fire. she legally bought a fire arm after having been in federal court and found to be dangerous to herself and others. past a background check. what have we learned? our current system has major gaps. this bipartisan legislation.
6:37 am
i want to thank senator begich for helping fix this major flaw in the system. we have legislation that will make sure that people who find themselves in this legal category of having gone to a federal court and pledge not guilty by reason of insanity and having been judged by a federal court to be dangerous to themselves and others would no longer be able to legally pass a background check. here is a lot of emotion around the gun violence issue. i am hopeful this is one area where we can find tremendous bipartisan support to fix a keeping that in our law. to the people of charleston, south carolina, i thank god every day that the gun did not discharge. i will make sure this mistake is sticks. there is an effort that the state level to record all
6:38 am
adjudications in finding someone mentally incompetent and injuring that data into the federal system so that people in that category in south carolina at the state level cannot buy a gun. there are 14,000 to fall in that category. with that, i will turn this over to senator said its who co- authored -- senator bank which -- begich, who co-authored this legislation. >> thank you, senator graham, for working with me on this. i was pleased to help negotiate the part of the bill to strengthen the background check system. clearly, the system as defined in detail here has many holes in it. dangerous people can fall
6:39 am
through the cracks because the background check system lacks a clear definition of mentally incompetent. by creating a clear definition, this bill will help prevent individuals with dangerous health -- with the health issues from buying a gun. this is an important step forward. the bill will strengthen the rights of people with mental health illnesses. it provides a specific the physician of mentally incompetent. that only includes individuals involuntarily committed to treatment. it changes outdated and office of terms such as mentally defective. -- outdated and 0 cents if -- offensive such as mentally defective. this bill is in step in the right direction. i like to thank the nra and the
6:40 am
national alliance of mental illnesses for their help in this effort. we worked closely with both moves to make sure we had a bill that made sense and could be implemented. it is an honor to be here. i want to echo what senator graham said. this is a bill that have strong bipartisan support from. members of the senate. as we go on in this debate, hopefully this is a bill that can move forward and pass the senate and the house and move on. the language seems to be fixed and this is one way to do it. it will protect those experiencing mental illnesses. i will turn it over to senator flake. >> i appreciate the opportunity to come out in support of this legislation. in arizona, gabby giffords and mark kelly came to talk about some of the problems with the
6:41 am
background check system. there are more than 120,000 mental-health records that have been adjudicated that the state level. those are not part of the nics system. there is this piece of legislation and other things we can do that will allow individuals authorities to determine who is incapable and should not be in a position to get a weapon. i appreciate the time that has gone into this, particularly by the primary sponsors. >> thank you, jeff. >> after the shootings in connecticut, i spent a lot of time with people in arkansas asking them about gun issues. we certainly have people call in
6:42 am
and say, you need to do something. also, one of the things we recognize in our state is the overwhelming majority of gun owners who are law-abiding citizens. they are completely responsible gun owners. they have those guns for various reasons. here it is something that people take very seriously. as part of my discussions, i have reached out to prosecutors and local police. i have even been to a gun store owners to talk to them. many gun owners in the state of arkansas. one of the things i keep hearing, less enforce the laws we have on the books. this is a way -- let's enforce the laws we have on the books. this is a way to do that. we are improving the integrity
6:43 am
of the database, of the background checks that currently exists. people say the laws we have on the books can be improved, the system can be improved. there are holes and gaps. we have heard that an idea that from the states of arkansas and around the nation. that is what this is about today, to try to improve something we have on the books that we think will work and will be effective and will keep hands lee that -- keeping guns out of the hands of people who are mentally ill. one of the things i love about this effort is that it is by purchasing. if we are going to get things done in washington, we have to get things done in a bipartisan way. that is a very important piece of this legislation. thank you.
6:44 am
>> any questions about this? [laughter] >> what are the agencies responsible for reporting this information to the database? >> the database does not pick up not guilty by reason of insanity findings. we will better define the objective. the objective is, after you have had a competency courts find that you are in danger to yourself and others, there are due process appeal rights in all of these systems -- systems. in this case pleading not guilty by reason of insanity does not disqualify you on the current background check system. 99.9% of americans would say that is a problem that needs to be fixed.
6:45 am
i do not know how many state adjudications there are in the united states where people have been found by a competent court to be a danger to themselves and others who are not in the federal system for a background check purposes. there are 14,000 in south carolina. my state legislature is trying to fix that problem by requiring my state law enforcement division by taking all of these adjudications and putting them into the system. we have thousands of people out there who have had their day in different courts and have been found to be dangerous to themselves and others and the system does know about them when it comes to gun purchases. this is one area we should be able to rally around. >> under the current law, this person would be allowed to go to a gun show to buy a gun. this does not change it.
6:46 am
>> the question about regulating private sales at gun shows. one thing i will never be able to support this if i buy a shotgun for markell or given to a family member, -- shotguns for mark or give it to a family member, i will never put that into the federal system. taking private firearms to a public place -- i think that is a work in progress. i would add one that. in 2010, there were 76,000 people filled a background check. there will only about 62 prosecutions. 19% of those who failed a background check in 2010, 13,862 people for fugitive from justice. not any of them were picked up. clearly, we have a long way to
6:47 am
go to improve the current system. if you are dumb enough to try to buy a gun when you are on the lam, we need to get you. imagine someone who is a fugitive from justice going in to buy a gun, deals -- fills out the form and they pop up in the system as being a fugitive of justice and nothing ever happens to them. that is a good place to start in fixing the background check system. >> the limit to what you would support for a background checks, the bill that senator coburn is working on -- >> tom corbett -- tom coburn is a good friend. anything he is working on, i will look at. i would be open to looking at their work product. i would say this. as my colleagues have said, we have a background check system that does not create any determined. so what if you fail the
6:48 am
background check? it is against the law to fill these forms out and if you break the law and nothing ever happens to you, my concern is expanding the amount of paper we do nothing with is not the deterrent we are looking for. >> if i can add one other part to that. we are finding another piece of the plaza where we can get a strong bipartisan support on. -- piece of the puzzle where we can get stung by person support. we went after the issue of guns -- where we can get a strong bipartisan support. it is unbelievable. as a former mayor, what we had to deal with was felons who had guns. we did a simple thing. we hired two city prosecutors
6:49 am
and assign them to the u.s. attorney's post office with one focus, guns, gangs, and drugs. once you sentence someone on a gun case, they will serve 60 days in a state case and they are out. in a federal court, they are away for five years. less and less gun offenses were occurring. if you look at where these gun offenses were occurring, most will related to criminal activity, guns, cannons, trucks. we -- gains -- gangs and rugs. -- and drugs. the goal is to try to have the system actually reference this
6:50 am
type of case. at the same time, be careful of not stepping -- stigmatizing those with mental illness. he legally disabled disability no longer applies to the person. if they have been found to be recovered, they are back to their legal rights. we have tried to clarify something that has been confusing. you are always going to have a lot of issues on the table for the next several weeks. we found one that solves a significant problem and has bipartisan support. we believe it has a good chance of moving through the system. >> if there is any item in this whole gun violence debate that can making real difference, i think this this is it. we need to strengthen the
6:51 am
background check to include those who are not mentally able or should not have guns in this way. if you are a criminal out to get a gun, you typically have come a network or you may not be able to get it at a gun show or a private sale and you get it somewhere else. with the background system, you will not be caught anyway. people with mental health issues are often loners without these networks. there are those who, if they are turned down, it may delay them long enough where there might be some type of intervention or something that might stop them from the path they are on. when you look at the case of a chair laughlin --jared loughner, he had not been adjudicated. here is where you can make a real difference.
6:52 am
cooks with mental illness or mental health comes up, -- >> when mental illness or mental health comes up, you have better is cooks -- and veterans groups talking the ptsd. how is this affected? >> in this case, a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity was lost to the system. it will not be captive. people with mental health problems need to have due process. we will not take your second amendment rights away because someone says something bad about you down the street. if you had an episode in the military where you are receiving treatment, i think the system needs to have a mechanism as to whether or not we can determine
6:53 am
in a rational way whether disability vintage you on safe to yourself and others. we are trying to -- his ability renders you unsafe to yourself and others. that is what we are trying to fix. in your example, we have to be careful how far we go. >> that part i just mentioned is critical in regard to making it clear that legally disabled no longer applies after a person is found to have recovered from mental illness. the other piece is -- to make sure the verbiage is clear -- it used to be adjudicated as a mental defect, effective. now it is adjudicated as mentally incompetent. we worked with the mental health
6:54 am
community to kick that distinction. >> senator levin he also introduced a bill dealing with strong purchases in trafficking. is that something you support -- senator lady -- leahy introduced a bill dealing with straw purchases in trafficking. is that something you support? >> i would be willing to look at what they have. if senator grassley and senator leahy agree, it is pretty sure that this can happen. >> the three of you are new at this issue. i am curious as to where you are on the various bills that are out there? >> i am not on the judiciary committee. i will not have a chance to vote until they get through that
6:55 am
process. i think we should enforce the laws we have on the books. you take that general approach and you start getting into areas like straw purchases and cleaning of databases and things that are already there, but may not be working well. i am like senator graham. i look forward to seeing with the the shia committee comes up with. i would hope it would be by a constant -- the judiciary committee comes up with. i would hope it would be bipartisan. i am against senator feinstein posting -- feinstein's bill. it is still early in the process. they have a process they will go through in committee. you have a lot of senators for tom harkin something to the committee. once that happens, we will look at it.
6:56 am
cooks we are going to try to. -- >> we are going to try to. that would make it harder for me. i will give you one quick statement about the data that was supposed to be quieter. -- the dinner that was supposed to be quiet. it is not supposed to be news. if ronald reagan had dinner with clinton, it would not be news. the fact that there is a lot of interest in a dinner with the
6:57 am
president and a handful of republican senators is a pretty good statement about where we are as a nation. i am not blaming anybody. it takes both parties to get into $16 trillion in debt. the president called senator mccaskill and myself a couple weeks ago. -- senator mccain and myself a couple of weeks ago. everybody wants to be dr. phil about what he is doing. i am assuming the president wants to talk seriously about the issues of the day. if he just wants to have dinner to discuss the issues of the day, that is fine with me. how do you say no to the president of the united states? you do not. anybody who would do that is in the wrong position. when the president asked to get together in the group, i was honored to try to do that.
6:58 am
where this goes, i do not know. i believe what the president has been doing lately, and getting off of the campaign trail and in back into the normal way of doing business -- i cannot think of any major outcome stetler no one ever talked to each other. i want to compliment -- in the major outcome where no one ever talk to each other. i want to compliment the president. the election is over. if we do not fix entitlements, they will consume all of the money we send to washington in the future. i think the president knows that also. i have publicly said i am willing to do more revenue if we can spend the entitlement curve. i am just speaking for myself. there are other senators who will be giving their views to the president tonight. they will probably try to talk sense into him.
6:59 am
i am concur with spicy president's out of reach. i hope it bears fruit. -- i am encouraged by the president's outreach. i hope it bears fruit. >> the senate judiciary committee will work on a number of gun measures this morning. you can see live coverage at 10:00 eastern. more on security secretary: as homeland security secretary janet napolitano will focus on -- homeland security secretary janet napolitano will focus on security threats for the nation. coming up in 45 minutes, congressmen castro of texas will talk about his first two mon

Capitol Hill Hearings
CSPAN March 7, 2013 6:00am-7:00am EST


TOPIC FREQUENCY U.s. 22, United States 20, South Carolina 7, Kentucky 7, Mr. Paul 5, Washington 5, Us 5, Paul 5, Arkansas 3, Graham 3, John Brennan 2, Mr. Lee 2, Janet Napolitano 2, Leahy 2, Charleston 2, America 2, Koreans 2, Feinstein 2, United States Citizen 2, The Framers 1
Network CSPAN
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 17 (141 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 3/7/2013